Oxford Languages defines empathy as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Up to this point, we’ve been on the outside looking in. Our faith community is more than empathetic towards those who have been adversely affected. You don’t need to watch the news to know that people who lost earnings, employment, businesses, personal liberty, and peace of mind during the last six months struggle to recover their equilibrium.
Persons who have lost a loved one to COVID-19 or during this time faced not just the loss of someone they love but left to chart a course through the unknown waters surrounding grief, memorial celebrations, and funerals. Pastors, funeral directors, churches, and families struggle to understand the rules and adapt to new ways of helping families navigate loss and recovery.
As the election approaches, many people are hopeful that once we elect a president, that pandemic will be over, or the politicization of the issue at the very least. There is no doubt that the virus is a high-profile issue for the 2020 election season. Politicians beat the war drums, and the press never misses an opportunity to make the headlines and bolster ratings. Somewhere along the way, America transitioned from the evening news with Walter Cronkite to media outlets providing predigested information spun up to help us come to the foregone conclusion of seeing things a certain way.
During last week in my part-time role as a football parent, I had a casual discussion with one of my friends who happens to be another Eagles parent. Our conversation turned to the topic of how much our lives have changed in the last six months. Both of us remarked concerning the amount of energy required to deal with COVID-19 day in and day out. He articulated something I’d been feeling, but never really thought about before. “It’s exhausting!” The whole world is tired of this never-ending story.
Even as I express empathy for those whose lives continue to be adversely affected by the pandemic, it has taken on a whole new dimension in my life and the life of my family. Last week we learned that members of our family had exposure to COVID-19 from two different sources. We are grateful for local medical professionals who helped us understand where we were and navigate a very complex set of protocols.
Today we spent four hours getting several diagnostic tests for every member of our household. Samantha did not look kindly on having the COVID swab tickle the back of her eyeballs. Nor did she willingly submit to having her blood drawn for a CBC (complete blood count) screening. It took two sticks to get blood from me because I only had coffee this morning. Most of the testing took place in the express clinic, but we had to go to the main hospital building for x-rays and for Sam to get her blood drawn.
By the time we finished up, we were all exhausted and starving. Our instructions, once we found them in the ream of paperwork, are to “isolate.” No outside contact, stay in our home, conduct our lives as though we are contagious even though we won’t know for sure for a couple of days. In the meantime, we will make the best of our situation.
We will participate in virtual education while trying to
perform virtual work, from what may feel like house arrest before this is all
over. While much of our lives will shift to the virtual realm, it’s a relief
that for the moment, no one is feeling terrible. Penny and I are
fatigued, but that may be a result of all the worry and struggle we went
through trying to navigate the decision to test the kids or the entire family.
Donovan and Sam are fine, except they are a little stir-crazy. This, too, shall
pass. We appreciate your concern, your help, your well wishes, and especially
Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Romans 12:12